Judge to hear arguments over priest’s release
By Phil Ray
November 10, 2014
The Altoona Mirror U.S. District Judge Kim Gibson will hear prosecution arguments this week that a Roman Catholic priest from Somerset County remain in prison pending that outcome of child sexual abuse charges filed against him by federal authorities.
Gibson, presiding in Johnstown, will hear an appeal from a decision made last week by Magistrate Judge Keith Pesto ordering the release of Father Joseph D. Maurizio Jr. to home detention.
Pesto, after three hearings on the detention issue, ruled that Maurizio could leave the Cambria County Prison to reside with a sister in Somerset County.
He ordered Maurizio's financial accounts frozen and ruled that the priest, relieved of his pastoral duties at Our Lady Queen of Angels Parish in Central City, not have minors in the residence and that other visitors be screened by authorities.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie Haines immediately appealed Pesto's decision to the district judge, asking that a new hearing be held.